Juventus and Napoli were said to be interested in signing the Croatian fullback.

By 90Min
January 04, 2018

Juventus and Napoli have been a massive blow in their pursuit of Sime Vrsaljko after Atletico Madrid reportedly made him unavailable for transfer.

The Serie A title challengers were both thought to be in the hunt for Vrsaljko's signature in the January transfer window but now must look elsewhere to strengthen their respective squads.

Calciomercato (h/t Football Italia) is the publication that broke the news about Atleti's desire not to part company with the fullback during the winter break on the continent, with manager Diego Simeone and sporting director Andrea Berta both now keen to retain Vrsaljko's services.

Vrsaljko has only featured nine time for Los Rojiblancos this season after he initially struggled to break into the starting lineup on a regular basis under Simeone.

The Croatia international was involved in Atletico's final three La Liga matches before Spanish football broke for the festive period, and did himself no harm in registering assists for the matchwinning goals in the 1-0 victories over Real Betis and Alaves.

His improved displays appear to convinced Simeone that Vrsaljko has a future at Wanda Metropolitano, with the right back having seemingly been on the way out thanks to his first involvement in the senior matchday squad since 18th October.

Juve and Napoli are keen to add new faces to their defensive ranks in the winter window as Max Allegri and Maurizzio Sarri eye the Italian top flight crown.

I Bianconeri trail their rivals by one place and one mere point at the halfway stage of the season and both need cover at full-back due to their own concerns over personnel.

Juventus have arguably the greater need for a new arrival in defense with Mattia di Sciglio currently sidelined and veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner not capable of playing two or three times a week.

I Partenopei, meanwhile, have Albania international Elseid Hysaj and Christian Maggia as options on the right, but the latter's 35 years of age means he doesn't have much longer to play.

Vrsaljko has played in Italy before for both Genoa and Sassuolo but it remains to be seen if he'll ever venture back there in the future.

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